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The Best and Worst Foods for Your Acne Diet

Acne is a common skin condition that affects people of all ages. While many factors contribute to its development, diet plays a significant role in managing acne.

By understanding which foods can help improve your skin and which can make it worse, you can create an acne diet that works best for you. In this comprehensive guide, we'll dive into the best and worst foods for your acne diet, backed by scientific evidence.

Also read: How to choose the best acne treatment

Biggest Take-Aways:

  • Diet plays a significant role in acne development; high glycemic load diets, dairy products, and unhealthy fats can contribute to acne breakouts.

  • A balanced acne diet rich in anti-inflammatory, probiotic, and antioxidant-rich foods can help support healthy skin and reduce acne severity.

  • Vitamin E is essential for maintaining healthy skin and may help manage acne, particularly inflammatory acne.

  • Exposed Skin Care offers a comprehensive approach to acne treatment, combining natural ingredients with scientifically proven actives for effective results.

Person comparing a donut and an apple

How Diet Affects Acne

The relationship between diet and acne has been a topic of interest for many years. A diet rich in certain foods can lead to hormonal imbalances, inflammation, and increased insulin levels, all of which may contribute to developing acne. Understanding how diet affects acne can help you make informed decisions about the foods you consume and take control of your skin condition.

Various factors in your diet can impact your skin health, such as:

  • High glycemic load diet: Consuming foods with a high glycemic index can result in rapid spikes in blood sugar levels, leading to increased insulin production. This stimulates insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1), which can trigger excess oil production and clogged skin pores, ultimately contributing to acne.

  • Excess dairy consumption: Various dairy products, especially skim milk, have been linked to an increased risk of teenage acne. It is believed that the hormonal composition of dairy products can stimulate oil production and clog pores, exacerbating acne in some individuals.

  • Unhealthy fats: Consuming unhealthy fats, such as saturated and trans fats, can contribute to inflammation and clogged pores, leading to acne breakouts.

Woman suffering from acne

By being mindful of these dietary triggers and adjusting your food choices accordingly, you can create an acne diet that helps manage your skin condition more effectively.

On the other hand, consuming a balanced diet that includes the following can help support healthy skin and reduce the severity of acne:

  • Anti-inflammatory foods: Incorporating omega-3 fatty acids into your acne diet can give your skin essential nutrients to reduce inflammation.

  • Probiotic-rich foods: Probiotics can help maintain a healthy gut environment, which can positively impact your skin.

  • Antioxidant-rich foods: Antioxidants, such as vitamin E, can protect your skin from damage caused by free radicals and inflammation.

By including these beneficial foods in your acne diet, you can give your skin the nutrients it needs to heal and maintain a healthy complexion.

The Best Foods for Your Acne Diet

Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Omega-3 fatty acids are known for their anti-inflammatory properties, which can help reduce acne breakouts. Foods rich in omega-3s include:

  • Fatty fish, such as salmon, mackerel, and sardines

  • Chia seeds

  • Walnuts

  • Flaxseeds

  • Algae

A study found that people who consumed more fish, which is high in omega-3 fatty acids, had a lower prevalence of acne. Including these foods in your acne diet can help reduce inflammation and improve your skin.

A plate of salmon dish

Probiotics

Probiotics are beneficial bacteria that help maintain a healthy gut environment, which can positively impact your skin. Foods rich in probiotics include:

  • Yogurt

  • Kefir

  • Sauerkraut

  • Kimchi

  • Miso

  • Tempeh

Research suggests that probiotics can help reduce inflammation and protect the skin barrier, which can help manage acne. Incorporating probiotics into your acne diet can support a healthy gut and clear skin.

Antioxidant-rich Foods

Antioxidants help protect your skin from damage caused by free radicals, which can contribute to acne. Foods high in antioxidants include:

  • Berries, such as blueberries, strawberries, and raspberries

  • Leafy greens, such as spinach and kale

  • Nuts, such as almonds and pecans

  • Dark chocolate

  • Green tea

A study found that people with acne had lower levels of antioxidants in their blood than those without acne. Including antioxidant-rich foods in your acne diet can help reduce oxidative stress and improve skin health.

Person preparing leafy dish

The Worst Foods for Your Acne Diet

High Glycemic Foods

High glycemic foods cause a rapid spike in blood sugar levels, leading to increased insulin levels, which can contribute to acne. Examples of high-glycemic foods include:

  • White bread

  • White rice

  • Sugary beverages

  • Candy

  • Pastries

A study found that people who followed a low glycemic diet experienced a significant reduction in acne compared to those who followed a high glycemic diet. Limiting high glycemic foods in your acne diet can help regulate blood sugar levels and reduce acne breakouts.

Dairy Products

Dairy products, such as milk, cheese, and ice cream, have been associated with increased acne breakouts in some individuals. This may be due to hormones found in dairy, which can stimulate oil production and clog pores.

A meta-analysis of several studies found a positive association between dairy consumption and acne. However, this relationship may vary from person to person. Reducing dairy intake or opting for dairy alternatives in your acne diet may help improve your skin condition.

Woman eating tub of ice cream alone

Saturated and Trans Fats

Saturated and trans fats can contribute to inflammation and clogged pores, leading to acne breakouts. Foods high in these unhealthy fats include:

  • Fried foods

  • Fast food

  • Processed snacks

  • Baked goods

  • Fatty cuts of meat

A study found that people who consumed more unhealthy fats were more likely to develop acne than those who consumed less. Limiting your intake of saturated and trans fats in your acne diet can help reduce inflammation and improve skin health.

Person eating whole pizza

The Role of Vitamin E in Acne Management

Vitamin E is an essential nutrient that is vital in maintaining healthy skin. It acts as an antioxidant, protecting the skin from damage caused by free radicals and inflammation.

Including foods rich in vitamin E in your acne diet can help support glowing skin and reduce the severity of acne. Additionally, vitamin E can help improve the skin's ability to heal, reducing the risk of acne scarring.

In some cases, a deficiency in vitamin E may worsen acne, as it can impair the skin's ability to shed dead skin cells, leading to clogged pores and more severe acne. Ensuring that you consume adequate vitamin E is crucial for managing this skin condition.

A person holding vitamin e pills

However, it's important to note that more research is needed to fully understand the relationship between vitamin E and acne, particularly in young adults. Some studies suggest that vitamin E may be more effective in treating inflammatory acne, while others indicate that it may not significantly affect acne caused by excess sebum production.

To optimize your acne diet, it's essential to consume a balanced diet that includes fresh fruits, vegetables, and healthy fats, while limiting sugary foods and refined carbohydrates. By doing so, you'll provide your skin with the nutrients it needs to maintain a healthy complexion and reduce the risk of developing acne.

Some examples of foods rich in vitamin E include:

  • Almonds

  • Sunflower seeds

  • Avocados

  • Spinach

  • Olive oil

  • Broccoli

  • Kiwi

  • Mango

Incorporating these vitamin E-rich foods into your diet can help support healthy skin and contribute to effective acne management.

Person preparing avocado toast

Skim Milk and Teenage Acne

A surprising link has been found between skim milk consumption and teenage acne. Studies have shown that teenagers who frequently consume skim milk are more likely to experience acne than those who consume whole or reduced-fat milk.

It is believed that the hormonal composition of skim milk may contribute to acne development in some individuals. Researchers have observed the clinical and histological effect of skim milk on acne and found that it can increase sebum production, leading to clogged pores and acne breakouts.

In addition to skim milk, other factors contributing to teenage acne include high glycemic foods and a Western diet rich in processed foods and refined carbohydrates.

These dietary habits can increase inflammation and lead to the overproduction of sebum, which can result in more severe acne. Low glycemic diets, on the other hand, have been shown to improve acne symptoms in some individuals.

Teenagers can potentially decrease acne severity and improve their overall skin health by consuming low-glycemic foods such as brown rice, whole grains, and fresh fruits and vegetables.

A teenager drinking milk with coffee

Dietary intervention, including reducing skim milk consumption and incorporating low glycemic foods, can help regulate sebum production and prevent the overproduction of too much oil. This, in turn, can reduce the likelihood of clogged pores and the development of acne.

If you suspect that skim milk may exacerbate your acne, consider switching to a milk alternative or reducing your overall dairy intake in your acne diet. Additionally, pay attention to other dietary factors, such as high glycemic foods and refined carbohydrates, as addressing these factors can also contribute to healthier skin and effective acne management.

The Benefits of Using Exposed Skin Care for Acne Management

Exposed Skin Care is a well-known skincare line designed to manage acne effectively. Combining natural ingredients with scientifically proven active components, Exposed Skin Care offers a comprehensive approach to treating and preventing acne breakouts.

Exposed Skin Care Basic Kit

The benefits of using Exposed Skin Care products for acne management include:

  • Gentle formulation: Exposed Skin Care products are designed to be gentle on the skin, making them suitable for all skin types, including sensitive skin.

  • Natural ingredients: The products contain various natural ingredients, such as green tea extract, aloe vera, and passionflower, which can help soothe and heal the skin.

  • Scientifically proven actives: Exposed Skin Care also includes active ingredients like salicylic acid, benzoyl peroxide, and glycolic acid, which have been proven effective in treating acne.

  • Comprehensive approach: The Exposed Skin Care system addresses multiple aspects of acne, including inflammation, clogged pores, and excess sebum production, providing a holistic approach to acne management.

  • Easy to use: With a range of products, including facial cleansers, toners, and serums, the Exposed Skin Care system is easy to incorporate into your daily skincare routine.

Incorporating Exposed Skin Care products into your acne management plan and maintaining a balanced acne diet and healthy lifestyle can help you achieve clearer, healthier skin.

Combining the benefits of natural ingredients with the power of scientifically proven actives, Exposed Skin Care offers a comprehensive solution for those struggling with acne.

Conclusion

Managing acne effectively requires a multifaceted approach, with diet playing a crucial role. By understanding the impact of specific foods and dietary habits on acne development, you can make informed decisions to create a balanced acne diet that supports healthy skin. Incorporating anti-inflammatory, probiotic, and antioxidant-rich foods into your diet, while avoiding high glycemic load foods, dairy products, and unhealthy fats, can significantly improve your skin condition.

Additionally, paying attention to essential nutrients such as vitamin E can help promote skin health and manage acne, particularly inflammatory acne. Reducing skim milk consumption and incorporating low-glycemic foods into your diet can also contribute to a healthier complexion, especially for teenagers prone to acne breakouts.

Aside from dietary changes, incorporating skincare products like Exposed Skin Care can provide a comprehensive approach to acne management. Combining natural ingredients with scientifically proven actives, these products can help address multiple aspects of acne, from inflammation to clogged pores.

By focusing on a balanced acne diet, proper skincare routine, and a healthy lifestyle, you can take control of your skin health and work towards achieving a clear, glowing complexion.

FAQs

Can changing my diet completely cure acne?

While diet plays a significant role in managing acne, other factors such as hormones, genetics, and skincare habits contribute to this skin condition. An acne diet can help improve your skin, but it may not entirely eliminate acne in all cases.

How long will it take for my acne to improve with a new diet?

The time it takes for your acne to improve with a new diet may vary depending on factors such as the severity of your acne and your response to dietary changes. Generally, it can take a few weeks to several months to see significant improvements in your skin.

Is it necessary to avoid all dairy products in an acne diet?

Not everyone with acne is sensitive to dairy products. Some individuals may see an improvement in their skin after reducing dairy intake, while others may not notice any difference. Paying attention to your body and adjusting your diet according to your unique needs is essential.

Are there any supplements that can help with acne?

Some supplements, such as zinc, vitamin D, and fish oil, have been shown to help improve acne in some individuals.